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Professional Writing in Professional Settings

Daniel Perrin
8. Juni 2006

Writing in professions, professional writing, writing at the workplace – increasingly, professional work and writing belong together. The shift from a high-volume to a high-value economy in the last four decades has led from top-down commands to network communication at the workplace (Henry, 2000). Complex organizational processes such as quality management, knowledge management, and institutional storytelling are based on continuous written communication, on ongoing epistemic and communicative writing at the workplace, and on writing as a cognitive and social practice in and between professional domains (Pogner, 1999). As the functions of professional performance change (Kurtz, 2003), writing in the «real world» outside educational settings (Beaufort, 1999) turns out to be a key competence for professional success in profit and nonprofit institutions, in business and government, and in research and education. The convergence of telecommunications and digital writing media (Van Waes et al., 2006) supports this global change from writing in professions as a social exception to writing in professions as a must for many. But what is it that professionals write? Why do they write the way they do, and with what effect? How have they been prepared and supported by their academic and professional education? How can both writing and education be evaluated and improved? Zeitschrift Schreiben focuses on such questions to bridge the gap between writing in school, in academe, and in professional settings.

  • Beaufort, Ann. (1999). Writing in the real world. Making the transition from school to work. New York: Teachers College.
  • Henry, Jim. (2000). Writing workplace cultures. An archeology of professional writing. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
  • Kurtz, Thomas. (2003). Kapitel 3: Gesellschaft, Funktionssystem, Person: Überlegungen zum Bedeutungswandel professioneller Leistung. In Mieg, Harald & Pfadenhauer, Michaela (Eds.), Professionelle Leistung – Professional performance (pp. 89-107). Konstanz: UVK.
  • Pogner, Karl-Heinz. (1999). Schreiben im Beruf als Handeln im Fach. Tübingen: Narr.
  • Van Waes, Luuk, Leijten, Mariëlle, & Neuwirth, Chris. (2006). Writing in the digital media. Amsterdam et al.: Elsevier.